As civil war draws nearer on “House of the Dragon,” it’s becoming clearer that entire families are going to be drawn into battle, even their youngest members. We’ve already met Jacaerys Velaryon as a child, but according to George R.R. Martin’s book “Fire & Blood,” Jace’s story is only just getting started.
Jacaerys Velayron, nicknamed Jace, is the firstborn son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and her first husband, Laenor Velaryon. Or, at least, that’s what is publicly stated. In reality, he’s the first son of Rhaenyra and her lover Ser Harwin Strong; they have a total of three sons together, all of whom are claimed by Laenor, who is secretly gay. King Viserys orders that his own son Daeron and Jace share a wet nurse, hoping that the pair being “milk brothers,” as they are called, would somehow help ease the likely enmity between the two branches of the family. Of course, that doesn’t exactly work out.
As is tradition, a dragon egg is placed in Jace’s cradle, and ultimately, the dragon Vermax hatches for him. Growing up, Jace and his brothers are bitter enemies of Viserys and Alicent’s children, and a fight breaks out when Alicent’s sons mock the Velaryon boys and accuse them of being illegitimate Velaryons. A similar accusation is repeated during the squabble over who should succeed Corlys Velaryon, with a Velaryon cousin accusing the boys of not being legitimate heirs.
Jacaerys and Baela’s Relationship
When he is just 4 years old, Jace is formally betrothed to his cousin Baela Targaryen, the daughter of Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon (Laenor’s sister). Since they are so young, of course, their actual marriage is not meant to take place for many more years. Before it can, however, the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons begins when Jace is 14 years old, and he takes on the role of envoy and heir to gather support for his mother’s cause.
During these travels, Jace goes north to seek the support of Lord Cregan Stark, the Lord of Winterfell and head of the Stark family. While there, he is rumored to have fallen in love with Sara Snow, Cregan’s illegitimate half-sister, and to have married her in secret — although different sources dispute this rumor, or at least the part about Jace marrying Sara. In any case, Jace continues delaying his marriage to Baela, insisting that they wait until the war is over.
How Does Jacaerys Die?
As the Dance of the Dragons costs more and more lives, including his middle brother, Lucerys, Jace tries to keep his other family members safe. He arranges for his younger half-brothers, Aegon and Viserys, to be smuggled to safety in Pentos, but their ship is captured, though Aegon escapes on his dragon. During the ensuring battle, Jace and Vermax lead other dragonriders to attack the Triarchy fleet.
At first, it seems as though they’re going to emerge victorious, but Vermax is wounded and crashes into a ship. Jace survives the crash landing but is killed by a crossbow attack. Jace’s death leaves a serious gap in the cause of Rhaenyra and her allies, but his quick thinking to save his younger brothers proves wise — both Aegon and Viserys wind up as kings of Westeros after the civil war.